July 2, 2007

She's Still Doing THAT?

I have to take a moment here and say how blessed I am by my hubby's support that I am still nursing Gray, who is almost 21 months old.

In a conversation with some acquaintances recently it came up that I was still "doing that" and some women said "she needs to stop that!" He just looked at them and said "Really? Why?" To which, of course, they did not have an answer! He said, "you know it's more common now to nurse for the first 2 years." They didn't say another word about it.

There still isn't much support out there for Moms of nursing toddlers. To have my hubby in agreement and supporting me 100%- it's a wonderful thing.

I continue nursing Gray because I know it is best for him & me. Of course I consider the fact that there is evidence of many benefits to nursing past the first year for both baby and mom. There are so many benefits that I can't even begin to list them all. But I'll just be honest. It works for us. And I love it. And so does he.

Even if it means I have to eliminate dairy, egg, and nuts from my diet. (He's allergic.)
Even if it means I have less freedom. Even if it means somedays I am no more than a milk machine. It is so worth it. Breastfeeding my children has been one of my most cherished parts of parenting.

I don't know how long I'll nurse him. I am happy with our nursing relationship right now, and am open to letting things just happen naturally.

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7 and Musings Of A Crunchy, Domestic, Goddess is having a photo contest asking for your favorite breastfeeding picture of you and your child. I have been wanting to get a really good one of me and Gray at this age, so I am going to see if Ashlee can snap a good one of us today during our play date at the park. I'll post it here later. I'd love to see your photos if you have them, so let me know if you post something on your blog.


There's something new to win at Mama Speaks so stop on by to see what we're saying today, too!

60 comments:

  1. Do whatever you feel is best.

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  2. I think it is cool if that works out so good for the both of you.

    I must say that it really uncommon in Belgium to breastfeed that long...mostly because all mommies here go back to work after 3 months. There are not many stay-at-home moms at all. So I kinda shared the comments of your relatives at first, just because I don't know anyone personally who is breastfeeding his child that long. But I am sure the benefits are greater than the disadvantages.

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  3. There are lots of studies that show that women who long-term nurse tend to be better-educated then women who don't, which I'd mention (ahem!) whenever people made snarky comments about MY long-term nursing toddlers.
    I mean, REALLY. No one would even flinch to see a BABY that age drinking from a bottle!

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  4. I breastfed until Lilla was 14 months and loved it. I actually really miss it. I stopped for two reasons. 1, we are considering trying to conceive again and believe it is the reason we haven't yet. And secondly, it was becoming a power struggle and the only thing that would calm her down. I wanted her to be able to learn to work things out on her own and she just wasn't doing that. So, sadly, I stopped. I really miss it and wish I had gotten a good pic of it.

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  5. you go girl, breasfeeding Rock whatever the age

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  6. I loved "extended" breastfeeding. I'd still be nursing Becca if it weren't for the tests and meds I needed last spring. The longest I nursed was Caroline, at 26 months, and I only quit b/c I got pregnant. It was such a treasured time for us. So go for it! It is odd for people who aren't used to it, so I try to be considerate of that, but it's also great to let people know that extended breastfeeding is normal and healthy!

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  7. Caden is still nursing at 16 months once or twice a day. At first I was trying to wean him, but on days when he's teething or something else is ailing him, all he wants is me, and it's all that will sufficiently comfort him and calm him down. I've decided to let nature take its course. I know he'll stop when he's ready.

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  8. Good for you.
    We are 10+ months strong exclusively breast feeding over here. My goal was to make it to a year, but I'm open to going longer. The more I research, the more I learn about the benefits.
    My MIL was a big La Leche Leaguer so she's always told me how beautiful it is. She's also the only one who's taken any pictures. For some reason I never think of it. But she's got some good shots over these months.

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  9. Ethan is 14 months old today and we are still going strong. It's such a blessing to be able to do this, as cow's milk gives him a rash and he doesn't like many foods.

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  10. My mom nursed me until the night before I turned 3! :) Of course, I don't remember it, but she says it was very difficult to give up, especially because she pretty much knew I would be her last "baby."

    Do what you love and what feels right!

    Jane, P&B Girls

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  11. I only bf for 14 months (which I think might still be technically extended!) but I hadn't known anyone who even bf a year, so I think I did pretty good! I just can't believe how people think nursing an almost 2 year old is long! I agree with Beck, if a 21 month old had a bottle, no one would bat an eye! I see 4 year olds with pacis at the store! And bf is at least nutritional and bonding! I'm rambling now...good post, Steph!

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  12. Im glad you still nurse... I wish I could of nursed mine... it just didnt work for us. Im thankful they got the amount they did though.. because every little bit counts!

    I plan on trying w/ our 3rd. whenever that happens ;-)

    And I am happy you have a supportive husband.. cause some dont! and that really does help..

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  13. mopsy from lifenutJuly 03, 2007 6:56 AM

    Cheers to the supportive husbands!

    My husband is my biggest advocate and has always fully backed OUR decision to breastfeed. He gets really fired-up when he reads news reports about women being made to leave businesses because they are nursing their children. He even called in to a radio show one day to debate the host, who thought breastfeeding is icky. He didn't get on the air, but I was proud of him for trying.

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  14. Awesome! That's a good idea about the pictures. I don't think I have even one from when I breastfed Leelee which makes me sad so I'll have to make sure I take some of Lex.

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  15. I nursed Roo until a couple of months past her second birthday. It wasn't necessarily a big deal choice- I am hardly a crusading lactivist or anything- but it made sense for us. Roo's three now and has only had one fever, which I definitely attribute at least in part to the BFing. I don't like to stomp on anyone's decisions about what is good for their own children and I would love it if more people could keep their own opinions to themselves, especially about what you "need" to do!

    That being said, the British documentary with the eight year old girl who still nurses regularly totally freaks me out...

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  16. You know what I've said, what works for one mom may not work for the other. It's what the MOM decides is best for the family that counts.

    I nursed both my boys for 9 months. If some nurse for a year or 2 years.....it doesn't matter!

    Golly, it would be nice if moms SUPPORTED other moms!!!!

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  17. OH i am so so jealous of you!!!! i nursed my first for a year.. i wanted to nurse cory who is my last for longer.. but I had to stop at 3 weeks old due to something not many women even know about. :-( how is that for support.. Me being jealous!!!

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  18. I nursed my son until 16 months. I was PG with my daughter and in your second trimester your milk changes, so he just naturally weaned himself. I think he would have nursed longer had that not been the case - he LOVED nursing.

    My daughter self weaned at 14 months - she nursed more cuz she had to and and comfort nursed less than my son.

    Still, I loved just letting it run it's course and my slings always let me be ready wherever we were!

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  19. Good for you for standing up for what you believe in. I bf my daughter for 14 months and it was a super hard decision to quit. My husband and I were trying for #2 and I still had not gotten my period. So I weaned to get my period... which I have now... so maybe another baby isn't far behind.

    I just wish those that choose not to bf would have given it a second chance. I had such an amazing experience!

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  20. I say good for you! I'm always in awe on the mom who loves breastfeeding and keeps it up for a couple years.

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  21. people should keep their rude comments to themselves...i wanted to bf for a year, but after 6 cases of mastasis, i had to stop after 7 mo.

    unfortunately, it seems that women want to hurt each other over this issue, when we should support each other REGARDLESS of our feeding decisions! it's sad that so many people still think that breastfeeding is "disgusting" or "pornographic".

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  22. What's up with his hair in this pic? This kid is wild from head to toe, but we love it. It cracks me up when he uses nursing to get out of trouble. He'll be doing something he's not supposed to and Steph says "Gray!" and he looks up with such an innocent look and says so sweetly, "Boo?" He's a charmer for sure. - Gray's daddy.

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  23. I love that your hubby stuck up for you... not that he should have to in the first place, but being a joint force only reinforces to people how important it is to you as a family. I say go as long as you and Gray want. Mommy knows best!

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  24. Good for you! And, yeah for a supportive husband!

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  25. Hooray for your husband! I love it when dads stand up for nursing moms.

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  26. I believe wholeheartedly that its the momma's choice, with the help of the daddy-of course. Now, if the child was 10 and latchin' on....we might have issues! But we need to support moms- NO MATTER what they decide for their children. That is what parenting is all about...you try your hardest, you read, research and ask God to give you the ability to raise your children and to know the right way.... the correct way and give them to God for the rest! God bless you and don't listen to the mean mommies! Know that you are an encouragement to so many moms! and Keep up the good work!

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  27. Yippee!! I'm glad your hubby is behind you, mine was too and my son nursed until he was almost 2 and weaning was his idea :( I loved every minute of it too!! I can't wait to do it all over again in +/- 6 weeks!!!!!

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  28. Ella will be two on Thursday and today a friend of my MIL's found out that I was stilling bfing her and she said, "Why??? That is SO gross!". Hmmm. I just sort of ignored it and moved on. People who haven't nursed a toddler cannot understand why some of us mothers extend nurse past age one despite all the medical research that proves that it is good for both mom and baby.

    Simply put, it really just works for us too. There have been many times I have wished she would hurry up with the self-weaning but she clearly isn't ready and I am not going to force her to wean. Anyway, you are not alone!

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  29. Awesome, mama! I'm nursing a 36 month old. I am so glad you're getting extended BFing some positive attention :)

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  30. I loved breastfeeding my kids! I completely cherished that time with them. I had a little panic attack with my daughter (firstborn) and I chose to stop breastfeeding her around 6 months. I began to fear something would happen to me and she wouldn't take a bottle, so I forced the bottle out of fear. Weird - I know. It is a regret I have but I let my son choose when he was done and we went 13 months. Breastfeeding was one of my favorite times with them both!!

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  31. Good for you!! And it is so wonderful that your husband supports you. We had a similar type of conversations when I was bfeeding. I think my mil even told my hubby that he shouldn't let me do it, since it's going to ruin my boobs :)

    I was pregnant or nursing for straight 5 years (3 kids) and the second baby I was nursing until 7 months pregnant.. I wish I could have bfeed her longer, it just got really tiring and fysically difficult.

    You can get pregnant while nursing (and eating mini-pills), I got pregnant three times while nursing (lost one), and actually easier than what it was to get pregnant with the first baby.

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  32. I love that you're raising positive awareness of extended nursing. I just celebrated four years.

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  33. My mother nursed me until I was 25 months (and my sister until she was 18 I think) so I've always grown up thinking I would nurse for a long time.
    I nurse because I want to, but am also more tied to it because my son has intolerances and won't drink the only formulas he can have (I would have liked to supplement from time to time). It surprises me how many people seem to sympathize with me that I still have to nurse. Like "poor you, hopefully he'll outgrow this soon so you can stop".
    I hope he'll outgrow a lot of his intolerances at one so I can start eating a bit more freely, but don't plan to stop until it feels right for both of us.

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  34. I think nursing is so special between mom and baby or toddler. I only wish I could have nursed mine longer. I sometimes really miss that bonding and wish we had a baby again. I guess that's mommy instinct and wonder, will those feels ever go away? Or as a mother we always have them.
    Steph your child, you know what's best for him. When you two are ready to stop you'll know.

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  35. Good for you Steph! I'm not weaning Clark until it feels "right" for us, whenever that may be. I guess I'm just not into the whole parenting-by-deadlines thing. ;)

    p.s. I'm emailing you my babywearing story now.

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  36. Maybe someone here could help me with some good advice. I nursed my son for 10 months, and can't say that I enjoyed many of those moments. He just wasn't a cuddly cozy nursing baby. He was impatient and I don't think I went a month without having really sore nipples. (And the lactation consultant said his latch was perfect, in case you were wondering). I'd love to nurse my next baby longer (he/she is due in less than 5 weeks) but I'm so nervous about the whole experience being like the first one.

    I'm pretty sure it was just my sons personality, because he still is very impatient and not cuddly at all, still, I'm not too sure about how things will go.

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  37. As Jane commented, I nursed her until she was 2 years, 364 days! The night before she turned 3, I said, "Honey, you are going to be a very big girl tomorrow. I don't think you should have lubies (that is what she called my breasts!) anymore."

    She said, "OK."

    Plain and simple. Until then, Jane would not hear of giving up her lubies. I even lied to her pediatrician when she was turning 2 because he said that the nursing had gone on too long! I never regret one second of my extended nursing time with my Baby, and I encourage any woman to nurse until she and her baby are, well... done!

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  38. That's great for both of you, so many health benefits.

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  39. Look, Mom, Look!July 03, 2007 4:53 PM

    You know, it drives me so crazy when people feel like there should be one standard that works for everyone. It's great to hear a male in defense of breastfeeding past a year! Not many guys would be willing to comment on that topic in public!

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  40. You know, I don't have a single picture of me nursing my kids and that makes me really sad! I nursed my son for 6 months, but my daughter for 19 months- would have gone longer but had to wean her for other reasons, she was just about ready anyway.
    My pediatrician told me that the WHO recommends nursing for 2 years, so that was incentive enough for me. Good for you and your hubby!

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  41. Oh what a great post - I will have to post something too, and dig out some pictures! I am currently *STILL* nursing Zachary at 44 months (3 1/2). Just a couple a times these days though. I love nursing him and it's the best thing for both of us, right now.

    With my first I was "unable" to nurse - so I pumped, with my 2nd I was bound and determined to nurse - so I did everything I could and now, I am sooo glad I did!

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  42. love this post, of course! :-) Zachary is still nursing at 22 mos. and we will continue for a while I'm sure. We did night wean, which I'm thrilled about. 5 nights now with no nursies. He actually slept the whole night last night without waking up! Thank you, Jesus. LOL!

    I love what Beck said about the bottle thing too! I think there are many more moms out there "closet nursing" their toddlers just because they get grief! And, I jsut wanted to mention that you can still nurse through your pregnancy and Tandem nurse your baby and Toddler if you choose to. Breastfeeding will not harm your pregnancy at all. (Some people still think you have to wean when you get pregnant or you will have a miscarriage.) I just thought I'd throw that out there. :-)

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  43. ok, let me first say that as a recently "weaned mommy" (of course she will "snack occasionally")You are making me want to go get my Tooters and give her some num nums!

    Second of all who cares what other people think. Wait are you one of those I'm gonna pull it out on isle 3 people? No Steph not you. LOL!!!

    And I just messaged Jane (P. & B.'s) and asked her if she missed her Lubies. Did her mom have to add that. I'm STILL smiling!!

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  44. I recently met a woman at Hunter's baseball game that has a baby the same age as Carter. She was so excited to hear that I nursed him. They are from Oregon and people there are much more open about it she said. Here she feels like she has to hide it.

    I don't care what people think or what they say most of the time, I just wish it was "normal" for a mama to nurse in public. I look for nusing mama's when I'm out and VERY rarely do I ever see one.

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  45. your husband rocks! :)

    good for you for doing what is best for you and gray.

    i'm still nursing my recently turned 3-year-old 1x/day and hoping to continue that until she's ready to wean.

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  46. Wow! It's so nice to go find a site that is such a big advocate of extended nursing. I live in Oregon and did not find people to be very supportive (at least in my part of the state). I just weaned my youngest a week before she turned 5. With my oldest I nursed until she was 2 1/2 (7 months pg with #2) and my son was 3 1/2 (7 months pg with #3).

    Way to go with spreading the word on this issue. I wish I had some good pictures of nursing my 2nd two.

    My husband was amazing but he did say that nursing until 5 was enough - LOL! I agree, I didn't want to have to go to the school to give Tristyn a little snack :)

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  47. I think its wonderful you are still breastfeeding, im still feeding my 25 months old and 8 month old and get questions all the time about it. I have no plans to wean either anytime soon , is't breastfeeding a toddler just fun?

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  48. Good for you Steph!!!!! You go girl!!!!

    Staci

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  49. My daughter is 15 months old, and I find that people even seem to find it "weird" that I'm still nursing her once a day. It's all a little shocking to me actually, considering how it has come to be very publicized that prolonged breastfeeding has so many benefits. I guess maybe it's not as known as I think, but it still seems like other moms would understand. I am sort of being forced out of breastfeeding by very unique circumstances, but if it weren't for my specific situation, I really don't know how long I'd continue...probably as long as it was still a nice fit for both her and me.

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  50. Good for you! I'm nursing my 10 month old son--he's my THIRD child but my FIRST successful nurser. He will only nurse (no pumped breastmilk for him!) and finds such comfort in it and me that I can't imagine ever stopping. Of course that might be a problem when he's heading off to Kindergarten. Hee. Oh sure, there are days when I'm a bit tired of him biting my nipples bloody (teething), doing his scenic breastfeeding (rubbernecking everything around us) or having to forgo spicy Thai beef with basil...but he's worth it and this bond is a beautiful thing.

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  51. I just want to say way to go girl. It's great that your not ashamed of nursing your son so long. Nursing it totally cool. I'm so happy for you that your husband supports you 100%. I am also a mother of a 20 month old son that I still nurse, but the only differents is that I don't have as much of a support system as you do. I have a few people who tell me that its just fine, but Many people think it's gross and that it's going to make him a big sissy when he gets older. I really don't care to much about what they say because I love to nurse him and I know he will stop when he is ready. I'm not sure when I will quit. I'm just so proud of my self and other mom's that we are doing what best for our babies.

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  52. "The World Health Organization recommends 2 solid years of breastfeeding," is what I would always say to others!

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  53. Great post Steph! Are you wearing a Belly Hugger?

    Nursing is great. Over at the YoBaby Blog they're looking for everyone to post their favorite reasons for breastfeeding. Go check it out! :)

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  54. I am just wearing a tank top under my shirt that I pulled down (love to hide the belly!)

    Steph

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  55. Great post!

    I am still nursing my baby, too. He is 16.5 months old. Plenty of people think that I should quit...including one of my doctors. I am diabetic and was taking oral medication before I got pregnant. There isn't much research available for taking oral meds while pregnant/nursing. So, I began taking insulin when I found out I was pregnant. I am still taking insulin so that I can nurse Lucas. I love nursing him, and he loves to nurse...it doesn't get easier than that. I am to take 4 shots a day to nurse him...it is worth it (I've been on insulin for two years now...all for the benefit of my baby)! He gets all giddy when I ask him if he wants "boobies"...LOL! I do have pictures nursing him when he was a baby, but I don't have any recent ones. I think I'll have to take some. With my first son, my husband took a picture of me nursing him and I got upset. I didn't want my boob on film!! But, looking at that picture now, I love it!! I was sad when he weaned himself at 9 months old.

    Just curious....how often does Gray nurse? Lucas always nurses when he wakes up in the morning (and if he happens to wake during the night) and before he goes to bed at night. Some days he may nurse a couple of other times and some days it is only those two times.

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  56. Oh...I forgot to say that my husband supports me 100%, too!!
    There is no pressure about weaning him. Oh, and..... I haven't gone back to the doctor (my endocrinologist)that wanted me to wean my little one when he was only 6 months old!!

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  57. Gray still nurses quite often- it just depends! Some days it's several times a day and other days it's just here & there!

    Steph

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  58. People need to just get over it. Why is it that once I child turns one they should be weaned on the spot? I just don't get it.
    My hubby is military so the crunch is not there and he has supported my breastfeeding without any questions, raised eyebrows, etc. My son has been nursing for over 2 years now and while many may think it's wierd, it's the best thing for him therefore it's the best thing for me!

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  59. Ack, I missed this post. Well I have your back b/c we are too still doing "that." I'm just going with the flow right now too even though I've been wanting to wean for about oh, 12 months now :) I love your nursing pic, I have to submit a couple of my faves.

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  60. Cool! And excellent about your husband too. I nursed my daughter for 17 months. I really thought we'd still be nursing when she was turning 2, but she weaned pretty easily, with a little encouragement from me. I think my DH was a little uncomfortable with extended nursing. I keep meeting Moms online who are nursing newly 2 year olds. :)

    Wish we had better photos of me & my daughter nursing. Will have to do better with this next baby. :)

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